How to Transform Fears of Public Speaking into Strengths

With preparation and practice you can replace your panic with poise!

Fear of Public SpeakingRecently I met yet another adult who confessed to a lifelong fear and dislike of public speaking. Like many of you his fear began with an unhappy childhood experience of being forced to prepare and deliver a speech in front of classmates.

He went through school and university avoiding any classes that required participation.  Some students thrive in speaking in front of their classmates. I feel blessed to have been in that group, although one-on-one I was introspective and shy.

This message is for those who wanted to hide under the desk when called upon to answer a question or take part in discussion. These “public speaking-fearful folks” still avoid opportunities to shine in public.

Regardless of the cause of your fear, you know in your heart that confident leaders who speak well to groups have a noticeable advantage in the workplace. Picture yourself looking forward to your next board meeting.   See yourself chairing the meeting calmly, interacting with even the toughest members with confidence.

Preparation is key.

Instead of telling yourself how much you hate the experience treat it as you would treat any other work task. Know what tools you need.

Following is an excerpt from my part three of my Speak and Lead Series:

◊◊◊

73 Ways to Run a Good Meeting

 A poor meeting lacks purpose, is clearly disorganized, wastes time and manages to aggravate the obnoxious while infuriating the calm. A good meeting is purposeful, well-organized, relevant and timely.

The Effective Chairperson speaks clearly and calmly, remains objective, focused and courteous despite controversy… Do not hesitate to look and sound like a leader.

Link the purpose of your meeting with expectations of success with your co-planners well in advance of the meeting.  Maintain a positive vision while preparing to deal with possible challenges so you will appear cool and composed.

Before the Meeting

  • Establish an open, confident mindset
  • Acknowledge your experience or lack of it
  • Meet with your co-planners to set expectations for success
  • Determine the purpose of the meeting
  • Prepare for possible challenges
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